Kamala Harris admits ‘inflation is too high’ and NYC residents agree
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Big Apple Thursday afternoon to tout new spending efforts for underserved communities, but admitted “inflation is too high” while leaving any talk of recession out of the conversation.
“After a year of growth our economy is slowing down,” the veep told the audience in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation Economic Solutions Center.
“But our nation’s economic outlook remains strong,” she insisted.
Harris was in Brooklyn to announce a new Economic Opportunity Coalition made up of big-name corporations including Bank of America, Google and McDonald’s. It will aim to address economic disparities and create opportunities in “communities of color and other underserved communities,” the White House said ahead of the VP’s visit.
“Today we have reached near-record low unemployment,” Harris told the audience. “That said, we know there’s still more work to be done. Inflation is still too high and lowering costs remain a top priority of administration.”
The Biden administration is “focused on additional efforts to build a strong economy … that works for all people,” Harris said.
Those involved in the new coalition have so far pledged to commit more than $46 billion in funding for neighborhoods nationwide, which the administration hopes will help those struggling.
Raymond Hasbani, who owns Kings Furniture Warehouse in Bed-Stuy, counts himself among those who could use some help from the government.
“The inflation is affecting everybody,” he said and suggested the president’s team “give a loan for a business to help.”
Hasbani, 51, said “this time is worse than COVID-19 time, to be honest with you,” and he’s hoping for some sort of new round of stimulus checks to help stay afloat.
According to the White House, the cash injection announced by Harris will go towards community development financial institutions and minority depository institutions; supporting entrepreneurship and minority-owned businesses; expanding access to credit and other financial services; and preserving and explaining affordable housing.
Harris said that “given the breadth of the financial disparities in this nation, the public and the private sector must join forces to take on these challenges.”
In her speech, the veep also thanked Mayor Eric Adams, who was in attendance and addressed the crowd briefly. Harris said the mayor has been doing “extraordinary work” for the city. Also in attendance were Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, state Attorney General Letitia James, City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker.
Ahead of her announcement, Harris briefly toured the Bed-Stuy center, which serves as a community development corporation — helping locals with everyday finances and to grow their businesses. While leaving the building, the veep was met by a small group of anti-Adams protesters.
After her Brooklyn visit wraps up, the veep was scheduled to travel to the Hamptons to speak at a finance event at a private residence in Water Mill Thursday evening.
Her Empire State visit is the latest in a string of appearances across the country, which has largely been focused on a push for gun rights legislation and abortion rights.
Local Tammy Hall had guns on her mind when asked about the vice president’s visit to her neighborhood.
“Fight for gun laws!” said the 63-year-old. “It makes no sense…that children have such easy access to guns. Study Japan, go study the countries where there’s there’s very little crime.”